(Hurriyet Newspaper, 12 September 2013)
//ed. note: yet another of our occasional reports on Anatolian history.//
'Nerik' - Hittite worship site.
The Hittite religious center called 'Nerik' is coming into view after
eight years of excavation at Oymaagac Hoyuk (mound), located in
Oymaagac village of Vezirkopru district in Samsun province. The
excavation chief, archeologist Dr. Rainer Czichan, stated that the
tablets found at the site reveal that Hittite kings came to Nerik; that
they paid respects to the god of air here; that they conducted ceremonies;
and that they made sacrifices.
Dr. Czichan explained that "Nerik has the same meaning for that
period as Mecca has for Moslems today. It's a small place but it has
great importance from a religious standpoint. It is the northernmost
region of the Hittites." Dr. Czichan added that they have also found
a tunnel made of stone, belonging to the Hittite period: "the tunnel
is formed of 40 steps and it goes toward a room inside the main stone.
There's a room at the end of the tunnel and we think that there's a
fresh water pool in this room. We're surmising that that those living
here would use this tunnel for fresh water in the event of an attack.
Additionally, remains from the Iron Age, the early Roman period
and the Byzantine era continue to appear."
Vezirkopru is Samsun's westernmost district.